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Beit Ha’ir – Museum of History of Tel Aviv-Yafo

Bait Ha’ir sits in the historical Town Hall of Tel Aviv and is today the Museum of History of Tel Aviv-Yafo.

It is located in Bialik Square, near the Bialik House, it has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site as part of the “White City.”

The build was constructed in 1924 as a hotel called Hotel Sakura, belonging to an Englishman named Abraham Sakura.

However, it became the City Hall that same year, since the city was in desperate need for a larger building.

It was originally only meant to be a temporary location for the town hall, but the city ended up purchasing the building in 1928.

For forty years City Hall was located here. Celebrations held were held at the buildings entrance and the speeches given from its curved balcony.   

When the municipality left moved to a new building, this building was converted in to a museum for Tel Aviv history.

The museum survived for only 20 years but by 2001 the Tel Aviv Archive was in the only one in the building.  

In 2009, eve of the Tel Aviv Centennial celebrations, the building was renovated, Mayor Dizengoff’s chamber was reconstructed, and a new wing was added.

The new wing contains the exhibit “The Visible City” which displays a collection of photographs and stories presenting events, sites, ways of life, and experiences of the city and its inhabitants during its 100 years of existence.

Another exhibit in the main gallery space is a virtual exhibit displayed on computer screens giving a virtual tour of the city’s “life line.”

It is a chronological timeline containing hundreds of documentaries, both rare and well known, as well as thousands of photographs and documents presenting landmark events in the early years of Tel-Aviv.

Alongside this exhibit, visitors can watch a documentary by veteran filmmakers Anat Zeltser and Modi Bar-On about landmark events in the city’s 100 year history.

In its ‘old’ wing Beit Ha’ir unveils the “Dizengof Room,” meticulously reconstructed as it was when the room functioned as the Mayors office.

Alongside the reconstructed office is a permanent exhibit about Dizengof’s work, which reflects the relationship between the city’s first mayor and its residents.

There is also a reading room on the top level of the building provides the resources on the city for researchers, artists, students and schoolchildren.

See the Beit Ha’ir website for visiting hours, ticket prices, and how to get there. Also, check out their tours and activities page.

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